Guest post by Stacey Cavanagh
SEO is an evolving process. It’s never static for more than a month or two and with hundreds of improvements to its search algorithm yearly, Google keeps SEOs on their toes.
Here are 3 things you should be paying attention to in 2012, (if you’re not already) in addition to everything you were taking into account in 2011.
1. Schema Microdata
Google is making a massive song and dance about Schema. You can find out more about this at http://www.schema.org but it’s essentially standardised microdata that all of the major search engines can read. Google released 10 videos guiding users through the implementation process recently – another indication that it matters! We’re seeing increasing numbers of searches as well where the physical appearance and the amount of space taken up by a single result on the SERP is affected by Microdata.
2. Social Media
2011 brought us a number of social media developments, perhaps most notably the release of Google Plus. But social across all of the major platforms matters for search. Users’ results are being impacted by social factors and if you’re not paying attention this year, then you’re at real risk of falling behind.
Again, this is one that many of us have been paying attention to for a couple of years. But if you are not already considering it, now is the time. At present, most of the search results will be the same for users whether they are searching on a laptop or a mobile. But Google can already display different results that take into account the device that the user is searching on and it seems as though more variation between mobile and desktop results is imminent. Mobile SEO follows the same pattern as desktop SEO as far as off page is concerned, but it’s critical that your site is optimised for mobiles to get the most out of it. Mobile commerce is expected to be worth £19 billion annually within the next decade. It’s too large to simply ignore.
Of course, in addition to all this there’s still building an online brand, more natural link acquisition and on page optimisation to consider. Our jobs as SEOs are becoming fuller and more complex and the focus is now less about simply ‘tweaking on page and building links,’ and more about creating an authority of our client’s website. Our role is becoming wider and I, for one, think it’s brilliant!